Before we started brainstorming ideas for this project, we thought we would have to use the brains of engineers to build something to improve the organization of the materials at APRC.
Volunteers at APRC are struggling to find items in their closets which requires to know what items they have and where they are located. Over th
e course of this project, we have moved away from the idea of “constructing a special shelf” and moved towards the idea of creating a system that will benefit not only the jobs of volunteers, but the moms. Tending and meeting the needs of moms is the #1 priority and through an easy, efficient, and useful system that affects the organizational system will help meet this need.
Like Prisila said in her update blog, we have talked to a variety of people who go through an organizational process. They were all such a great help, but it was hard to compare the materials and the amount of materials that they work with to APRC.
Our group felt confused about how the closets look, when they’re used, and systems that they have used in the past to try to organize it. Thus, we decided to give Ms. Devillez, founder and executive director of APRC, a call to find answers to our questions. During our conversation, we wanted to hit three main points, closets/tracking inventory, boutique/client experience, and general questions about the closets as a whole. We found out more about their organizational system like how they put winter items on the top shelf and summer on the bottom. Through the pictures that were sent after APRC had their clean up day, we were able to scope out the different items that are located in the four different closets. Moreover, our wonderful biomed teacher, Ms. Miesner, suggested the idea of using a paper-based system where notecards are divided into different categories (i.e. clothing, accessories, formula/diapers). Within those note cards, each card gives specific details regarding the size and which closet it is located in. Although this sounds like it will be a lot of work in the beginning due to the mass amount of donations in the closets, we think it will benefit the volunteers and the moms in the long run. I was thinking this would get overwhelming because of the items that are donated by Bed, Bath, and Beyond. To my understanding, any items that are returned to Bed, Bath, and Beyond are donated to APRC. I’m just imagining the large amounts of donations coming in ever so often and being a volunteer, this would terrify me. I was thinking there could be a time frame where they would accept donations. For example, APRC would only take donations the first two or three weeks and then they get the rest of the month to organize.
The rest of our group is visiting the site tomorrow to get a better understanding of the center, and ask more questions.